Monday, April 18, 2011

Atari Games Of The Day

Aaaah, Atari. I saved my allowance for Atari games and nothing else in the early 80s. I don't think I ever bought an M-Network game, but the commercial made me feel good about my gaming system and summer (which is when these commercials aired). I had a friend who rocked an Intellivision. He was a loser, though he argued his platform with a dreadful ferocity.


Pitfall. Oh, gawd I loved this game. I was in love with the wild adventure of Indiana Jones (there was only one at the time), and as far as video games go, Pitfall Harry was the shizzle. The game's main flaw was that it put a 20-minute timer on the gameplay. You had to get as much gold and booty as you could in 20 minutes. Unfortunately, there was no clear objective, so you were left with your greed as motivation. Watch for a young Jack Black right at the beginning.


This is a commercial for Atari in general. They'd already released a crappy port of Pac-Man, which was programmed in a mere six weeks by Todd Frye. I loved it, but mostly because popular culture told me I should. Soon home video games would hit a lull which would be known as the dreaded North American video game crash of 1983. It was a dark time for home video games until a brave plumber named Mario came to save the day.


-Lefty

13 comments:

  1. Wow that brought back some memories! One Christmas money was tight and that was all we got was an Atari and some games. I could turn over Asteroids before my brother and I still laugh when I remember how pissed he was!

    Thanks for the memories!

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  2. Asteroids and Space Invaders were my two all - time favorites from Atari.

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  3. I too remember saving my pennies for an Atari (maybe 5200). It's probably somewhere in my parents' garage now, just waiting to be played... or sold on eBay.

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  4. I managed to miss the whole Atari craze. In the early 80's, I was just out of college and working full time and had no interest in video games other than an occasional game of PacMan on those arcade type games they had at Pizza Hut. A few years later, after I was married and we had two boys, we got a new computer. There was a version of Pitfall on there. It was fun, swinging through the trees and all. I played it some, but my older son loved it. The little one was just a baby then, so he missed out on that one. It's so funny to see the screen shots now of those early games compared to what is available today. Cool post, Lefty. :-)

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  5. I loved Pitfall and Defender. Hated Missile Command.

    Cool post, E. Thanks.

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  6. Thanks, all. I just downloaded a bunch of old Atari games for my iPod. I've played a few of them, but they just don't compel me to rack up hours as I did in my youth. What we put our poor bladders through for want of a pause button.

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  7. My brother was a huge Atari fan. Defender was our favorite and the only one I could beat him at. I played Asteroids and Space Invaders until my hands cramped up. Wonderful memories. Thanks, Lefty!

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  8. Totally cool. Great post.

    I loved Pitfall and Ms. Pacman the most. I used to play them for so many hours, sitting on the floor with my legs bent, that I'd have a hard time standing up after because my knees would hurt so badly from staying in the same position for too long. Ah, childhood.

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  9. Now my knees hurt like that all the time. It's like a second childhood.

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  10. Ditto. Getting old sucks. But then, I do ask a lot of them.

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  11. Pitfall was awesome but how did you win? All you had to do was not die in 20 minutes. You never rand to anything.

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  12. Hated Missile Command.

    I liked Missile Command but was terrible at it. America was annihilated many times over when I was in charge of our defenses, usually within two or three minutes.

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  13. That would explain your outcast status.

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